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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 7, 2015 11:00pm-1:01am EST

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american energy independence, and on the other hand when you say let's keep the keystone oil here in the united states and we'll have an amendment on the floor of the senate that will accomplish that goal they say oh, no, absolutely opposed to that. and so that's why logically you have to reach the conclusion that their goal is to get the extra $17 per barrel that they will get if they can get it out and start selling it to china start selling it to latin america, start selling it to other parts of the world. that's the plan. no two ways about it. and by the way that should be their plan. that should be their plan. that's what their responsibility is. it's to the shareholders of their companies. but what's the strategy for the american driver? well that's who we have a responsibility to, to make sure that they get the lowest possible prices.
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my goodness they were tipped upside-down and had money shaikd out of their pockets at gas stations all across our country for years and finally finally the day of deliverance has arrived and they have $2.21 on average for the price and now we're told the price of oil is too low. we've got to get it back up again. and so the best way of accomplishing that is to start exporting oil because the less there is here, the less there is in north america is the higher the price is going to be for american drives, for american home heating oil consumers. very simple plan. it's not about helping americans at the pump. it's about pumping up the prices for new profits for the oil companies. very simple. and if it's not then just accept an amendment that keeps
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all the oil here. simplest thing to do and then your rhetoric matches up with the reality of what it is that's going to happen. the fuel will stay here. they're not going to accept it. they have already made it very clear. so this is all smart of a wish list that we're going to see out here on the senate floor for the rest of this year. this is the big oil wish list of 2015. we start with the keystone extra large export pipeline to take oil and send it out of the country. then they want to lift the ban on the exportation of u.s. crude oil, which is now on the books a ban on u.s. crude oil. this is canadian oil. there are no laws against that. then they want to begin exporting our natural gas even as again consumers businesses natural gas vehicle firms are enjoying really record low prices and transforming the
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american manufacturing sector and our relationship with natural gas here in america. and then to declare war on the environmental protection agency and their authority to protect americans against pollution to make sure that the fuel economy standards of the vehicles which we drive continue to rise and rise because honestly, if we want to tell opec that we're serious, if you want to keep them awake at night then we keep the oil here, the price drops. we increase the fuel economy standards, we consume less oil we have to import less oil but that's not going to be the agenda that comes out here on the senate floor from the majority. it's going to be just the opposite. and so that's why this first debate is actually in a way a preview of coming attractions of what's going to be happening out here on the floor of the senate throughout the course of this
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entire year. this is kind of a keystone kabuki theater that is debuting here this afternoon on the senate floor because the reality is that this bill will never become law. the president's going to veto this bill. there aren't justice votes here to override the veto. so what we have instead is just the preview of this entire agenda notwithstanding the fact that they're not going to be supporting a national renewable electricity standard, dramatically increasing the energy efficiency laws in our country, making sure that the canadians finally have to pay the taxes for the oil liability trust fund, which they are now exempt from. american oil companies have to in the event that there is an oil spill at a pipeline, but the canadians don't have to. th
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-- that's $2 billion over ten years that canadian companies have to -- that american companies have to pay but canadians don't. when the democrats took over the senate we worked together to together a comprehensive energy bill. what was in it? having a new biofuels law to expand that production, making sure that energy efficiency in america was enhanced dramatically. and we worked on a bipartisan basis and president bush, a republican signed that bill because it was done in a bipartisan "all of the above" approach. that's not what this is about. this is not all of the above. this is oil above all. that's the strategy that the keystone pipeline embodies.
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shouts. it's not balanced. it's not where we should be as a country. so i say let's have an amendment on a bill -- to the bill that keeps the oil here in the united states. let's have this debate out here on the floor. let's match up the rhetoric of the oil stays here for protection of the american economy and the american driver within the reality that we voted for that to keep it here. let's have that debate. i think it's important because otherwise the canadians the american petroleum institute continue to engage in false advertising about where this oil is going to be used. and so from my perspective, this is the dirtiest oil in the world that's going to contribute mightily to an expansion of global warming.
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2014 was the warmest year ever recorded in history not withstanding the fact that it snowed here in washington d.c. yesterday. the warmest year in history. that, ladies and gentlemen is what i think the green generation out there knows as they look at this issue. what are we going to do to make sure that we avoid the catastrophic consequences of a dangerously warming planet? we have to engage in preventive care of this planet. there are no emergency rooms for planets. we have to engage in the preventive care that makes sure that we do not pass on this ever increasing danger to future generations. we're going to get a chance to debate it. the keystone pipeline is a good example of how there is not in fact a balanced policy. so i ask for an amendment on the
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floor so that we can debate whether or not the oil goes through a pipeline from canada, the dirtiest oil in the world like a straw potentially causing environmental catastrophes across our country and then have it exported around the rest of the planet without the benefits -- the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. mr. markey: and i think that this is the kind of debate that the american people expect the united states senate to engage in. and i yield back the balance of my time. mr. sanders: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. sanders: thank you mr. president. mr. president, i request floor privileges for my science policy fellow adria wilson, and ask unanimous consent that she be granted floor privileges throughout the remainder of the
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session. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sanders: thank you mr. president. mr. president, the truth is despite our rather big egos here in the united states senate, much of what we do here is pretty quickly forgotten. people have a hard time remembering what we did two months ago or yesterday let alone last year. but i have a feeling that the bill that we are now discussing -- the keystone pipeline -- and decisions that will be made about that bill will not soon be forgotten not by our children or our grandchildren and not by people throughout the world. and in fact, not by history. in fact, i believe that decades from now our kids and our grandchildren will scratch their heads and they will say what world were these people, members
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of congress, living in in 2015 when they voted for this keystone pipeline? how did it happen that they did not listen to the overwhelming majority of scientists who told us that we have got to cut greenhouse gas emissions not increase them? and i think our kids and our grandchildren will be saying to us why did you do that to us? why did you leave this planet less habitable than it could have been? the issue that we are dealing with today is of huge, huge consequence, and i fear very much that a majority of the members here in the senate and in the congress are poised to
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make a very, very dangerous and wrong decision. and in that light, i am more than delighted that president obama has indicated that he will veto this bill, this keystone pipeline bill if it is passed. mr. president, climate change is one of the great threats not only facing our country but facing the entire planet. it has the capability of causing severe harm to our economy to our food supply, to access through water and raises all kinds of international-national security issues. now let me just read an excerpt from a letter sent to the u.s. senate back in october 2009 --
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and i quote -- "observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver. these conclusions are based on multiple independent lines of evidence and contrary assertions are inconsistent with an objective assessment of the vast body of peer-reviewed science. moreover, there is strong evidence that ongoing climate change will have broad impacts on society including the global economy and on the environment. for the united states, climate change impacts include sea-level rise for coastal states, greater threats of extreme weather events and increased risk of regional water scarcity, urban heat waves western wildfires
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and a disturbance of biological systems throughout the country. the severity of climate change impacts is expected to increase substantially in the coming decades." end of quote. mr. president, this statement was signed by virtually every major scientific organization in this country including the american association for the advancement of science the american chemical society the american geophysical union the american institute of biological science, the american meteorological society and many many other scientific organizations. mr. president, scientists are not the only people warning us about the danger of climate change. hear what the department of defense has to say about the impact of climate change on
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international and national security. what they point out -- and i think what every sensible person understands -- is that when people are unable to grow the food they need because of drought, when flood destroys their homes when people throughout the world are forced to struggle for limited natural resources in order to survive this lays the groundwork for the migrations of people and international conflict. that's what the department of defense tells us. now, one would think given all of the scientific evidence, given the concerns raised by our own department of defense and national security experts all
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over the world one would think that given the fact that the most recent decade, last ten years, was the nation's warmest on record, one would think that when the national climate assessment warns us that global warming could could exceed ten degrees farenheit by the end of the century. can you imagine this planet becoming ten degrees farenheit warmer and what this means to this planet. when sea levels have risen nearly seven inches and expected another ten inches to 2.6 feet by the end of the century when all of that is on the table one would think that this senate would be saying, all right we've got an international
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crisis. how do we reverse climate change? and instead what the debate is about is how we put some of the dirtiest oil in the world and more carbon emissions into the atmosphere. and i suspect that our kids and our grandchildren will look back on this period and say what world were you living in? why did you do that to us? mr. president, it would seem to me that what we should be debating here is how we impose a tax on carbon so that we can break our dependence on fossil fuel. that's what we should be discussing not how we increase carbon emissions. we should be discussing what kind of legislation we bring forward that moves us
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aggressively toward energy efficiency weatherization and such sustainable energies as wind solar and geothermal. that's the kind of bill that should be on the floor. we should be having a debate about legislation which makes our transportation system far more efficient expands rail, helps us get cars and trucks off the road. we should be having a debate about how we can create the kind of automobiles that run on electricity and make them less expensive and how we can get cars running on 80 to 100 miles per gallon. those are the kinds of debate and that's the kind of legislation we should be having on the floor. not how do we expand the production and the
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transportation of some of the dirtiest oil on the planet. so mr. president in my view, the united states congress in a very very profound way should not be in the business of rejecting science because when we reject science we become the laughing stocks of the world. how do we go forward? how do we prepare legislation if it is not based on scientific evidence? and to say to the overwhelming majority of scientists we are ignoring what you're telling us, and in fact we're going to move in exactly the wrong direction i think makes us look like fools in front of the entire world. how do we go forward and tell china and tell india and tell russia and tell countries around
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the world that climate change is a huge planetary crisis at the same time as we facilitate the construction of the keystone pipeline? so mr. president, i am delighted that the president will veto this legislation if it happens to pass the congress. our job now is not to bring more carbon into the atmosphere. it is to transform our energy system away from coal, away from fossil fuel, into energy efficiency and into sustainable energy. that should be the direction of this country and we should lead the world in moving in that way. and with that, mr. president, i would yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum.
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more coverage at 10:00 a.m. eastern. later in the day, the aggregator he -- agriculture, they will talk about u.s. sections with cuba including benefits and challenges. it is hosted by the u.s. agriculture coalition for cuba. >> this sunday on "q&a" the talk about "birth of a nation." the depiction of saves after the civil war and the efforts by a newspaper publisher to prevent the release. >> part two which is after the
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reconstruction, is the heart of the protest. this is where the blacks are appalled by the portrayal of freed slaves and this is a scene showing what happens when you give former slaves the right to vote, be elected and the right to govern. you can see it in the south carolina legislature when their first and primary order of business is to pass a bill allowing interracial marriage. in this time, black men are solely -- solely interested in pursuing and having white women. ♪ >> author dick lehr on the
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controversial story "the birth of a nation." >> up next, the energy secretary ways in on the keystone pipeline and talks about u.s. energy policy. he spoke at the wilson center. >> the event continues with what i have termed the rockstar of the energy department. we have the ambassador here and several of our cap members -- cabinentt members but also other
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dear friends of the wilson center. ernie also joined us last october during an event on collaborative research targeting the amazon and co-authored a chapter for one of our books that you have already heard. we are glad he is becoming such a wilson center regular, he is back to address the global energy picture for 2015. it is not an easy future to forecast, who would have predicted oil prices would slide as much as they did in 2014. the geopolitical implications are huge and for those extracting fuel in the united states. suv's are back and used hummers are on the market again. i never thought i would see the day and i don't know anyone saw it coming but it is where we are.
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so where are we going? >> some pundits want to boil the energy outlook down to one number, the market price for a barrel of oil but one number cannot begin to capture what is going on behind global economies or international security. you have just heard a nuanced view of the panel from our panelist and you will hear a very nuanced view from the secretary because this is what the wilson center does best getting beyond the usual snapshots. too often my former employer in congress tries to legislate without a sense of the difficulties and challenges. i served there for 17 years as a
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member and five years decades before as a senior staffer. so it is the wilson center's job to promote a sharper understanding. as the new congress wrangles over keystone xl, iran sanctions and cuba this town needs nonpartisan wisdom. the kind ernie has created over a long career. a rockstar, necessary for public service, there is no one better to address this. please join me in welcoming him. you are welcome to speak from there or here. >> i will speak from here. thank you for the introduction. i interpret nuanced remarks to be reference to the fact that this is a public meeting and i will be very nuanced in that
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sense. we will try to spell out -- not forecast, but spell out some of the issues we are dealing with and looking forward to the 2015 agenda. as jane mentioned, my colleague melanie, and i contributed to this very fine book in its second edition. and the people who pull that together were always very calm and not pushy at all in terms of meeting deadlines. i will talk about four things briefly, we have about 15 minutes and then we will open it up to q&a. the chapter that we wrote in this book was called, energy
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technology and security or something approximating that. it was laid out in a way that i made comments on -- the central construct was to lay out energy security challenges and then to talk about policy responses to the challenges and finally what our representative technology pathways to a dress those policy approaches to challenges. for example, if one looks at the first challenge in terms of concentration of natural resources and the implications thereby, some of those holocene responses -- policy responses increased domestic oil. check. reduced demand for oil. check. provide alternatives -- i don't need to say check every time. alternative vehicles.
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we are seeing ev's coming in faster than hybrids did in the comparable time. domestic gas and exports working toward a global market. a third area put in in terms of natural resources were critical elements. you have seen very recently how quotas have been lifted because the attempt to control that market has backfired both in terms of development of alternatives and in doe's case, the establishment of a hub around the existing elements. the technologies attached are obvious but that is the way that a we are trying to think
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about these issues and b i will address the other challenges, but we are making tremendous progress across the board and c as a broader issue -- this is heart of the broader issues of 2015, as we continue a strong focus on technology development and specifically on the cost reduction of the technologies that we need to meet. environmental and climate. my first point is -- i think you all know, we have very robust technology programs in the department but i want to emphasize that i believe they are central to having policy developments that we are looking for because when the costs come down, the former colleagues have
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a much easier job in terms of addressing the policy issues be they climate or i just mention without going into detail now that the other three overarching security challenges that we used in this chapter were climate change, as a security issue, in addition to being an environmental issue. third, the potential challenges around nuclear power development, nuclear fuel cycle development and nonproliferation. and finally issues around energy infrastructure and supply chains. i will not go into the remainder unless there are questions, the nuclear power and nonproliferation issues. but i will address climate. i will say more about our energy security agenda for 2015, and
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then on the energy infrastructure side, i'll tell you where we stand on what's called the energy review and where we are heading in terms of recommendations for energy infrastructure, resilience and other challenges that we face. so let me first turn in my limited remarks to climate and give you an update and look forward to 2015 in terms of addressing and implementing the president's climate action plan, the plan that was issued in june of 2013, that plan has three pillars. the one is mitigation. the second is adaptation. and the third is the international dimension that we need, particularly on the road to paris. mitigation goes back to a theme
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i've already touched upon, a big part of that at least is in fact the technology agenda. one of our programs, arpa-e, was created in 2009 and we think it's been very successful. we will be strongly moving forward again with arpa-e and today i'm pleased to say that we will be announcing the third -- 2009, 2012, now 2015, there's a pattern, this will be our third so-called open solicitation. put out $15 million for new -- for novel technology ideas across the entire spectrum as long as the technology is, quote, clean, that is, advances a low emissions agenda.
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these open solicitations, you might ask why they aren't done all the time. for one thing, because they generate a lot of applications. the first round in 2009 had well over 3,000 initial submissions for what ended up to be 35 awards. so you can understand these are a challenge. however, we believe they are crucial in really opening up the aperture to all the good ideas that may come in. if you look at 2009 open solicitation, for example, there were some very innovative work on wind turbines using jet engine-inspired designs. but just a few days ago one of the initial awards -- perhaps the largest of the initial
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awards happens to be at m.i.t. where i was at the time. to a novel technology called liquid metal batteries. and the announcement a few days ago was the commercialization of these batteries as utility-scale storage devices. and so that's an example of a brand new technology that came out in this kind of open solicitation. in 2012 similarly an example was sensing and computing hardware that could be in a backpack-sized device that you could walk in and rapidly generate indoor physical and thermal, etc., maps of a built structure. so, again, a really interesting idea that probably would not have been brought out in the more targeted solicitations that
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we do. so we think this is exciting in terms of generating new technology ideas going forward. but let me also say that this will be a big year for our loan program. i hope some of you have noticed the change in tone of what's been written on the program. for a while it was solyndra, solyndra, solyndra. well, it turns out there's $30 billion in play in the loan program. the overall default rate has been 2%. solyndra represents almost 2/3 of the default rate in that one project. but it has paid off in major ways. utility scale photovoltaic c.s.p., we could go on and on. we have just recently completed our full sweep of call for proposals for an additional $40 billion of loan guarantee. that's $4 billion roughly in
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renewables and efficiency. these are set by state. $8 billion for fossil technologies that lower emissions. roughly $12 billion for advanced nuclear technologies and roughly $16 billion for new vehicle technologies which probably will see more auto suppliers as opposed to integrated manufacturers coming forward. so we already have proposals in for many of those. renewables and fossil. we see strong portfolios -- want to make it very clear that we plan to continue to be very forward leaning, very aggressive in terms of now the deployment side through our loan guarantee program. a different kind of mitigation push comes from setting standards, efficiency standards, for example, and i want to say
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that once again, with two hours to spare before new year's, we met our goal of actually 10 efficiency standards in 2014 double the amount in half the time relative to the previous two years. we're going to keep running through the tape in this administration with this because the accumulative impacts of these through 2030 are projected to be three gigatons of co-2 reduction and nearly a half a trillion dollars of energy -- of consumer energy savings by the accumulation of these many efficiency standards. so that's another area where you can expect to see very, very strong focus in this coming year. on adaptation, i'll come back to that in a little bit when i discuss the energy review. let me talk about international
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cooperation. again, we can come back to this more on the questions. but obviously the joint announcement by presidents obama and xi in beijing we think really changed a lot of the discussion in terms of international collaboration. this year we will be working hard with the chinese in terms of moving forward on the joint commitments for the department of energy. it again goes back to technology and we agreed to expand in scope, for example, adding a strong energy water nexus focus, and to expend in scale our direct technology cooperation with the chinese. including a commitment to move forward jointly and we will invite other international partners to really push the edge in terms of understanding carbon
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dioxide sequestration, with a new and much expanded approach to instrumentation, to understanding all the issues one needs to know about deep co-2 sequestration, to allow, for example, the appropriate regulatory basis to be laid. that's just an example of -- that's a very important area of international collaboration. the other one i'll mention, and it's quite fresh. yesterday we had so-called high energy dialogue with mexico. and that in turn followed a trilateral in december with mexico and canada in terms of energy. it's been a very, very, very positive discussion. one of the things going forward, i see my colleague out there from e.i.a., adam is leading one
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of the agreed to thrusts in the trilateral context, actually which is data and energy infrastructure mapping integration. right now we don't have very good data that goes across the three countries. and sometimes we do have the data, it doesn't agree. so getting data integration i think we think is a very important foundational step. that's an example of a focus. but we will also have a very strong focus on infrastructure development, integrated infrastructure development, and with mexico, for example, that will probably have -- not probably, it will have a particularly strong focus on electricity integration. there's more than i think most of us might have realized already in terms of electricity going back and forth across the border, with a seasonal footprint. but it's still rather much or
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rather lower than is the case with canada, for example, where we import so much hydro. but that's an example of going forward and mexico will be hosting in march the energy and climate partnership of the americas. we think this is very important. both for, again, our relationships with mexico, the united states, but also looking at what is very clearly in latin america a lot of progressive movement on the climate front. on the way to paris. and of course i should have said at the beginning that the mexican energy reform is really extremely ambitious and it is --
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a lot of the focus on the discussion publicly tends to be in the hydrocarbon sector but i want to emphasize that reform is equally ambitious in the electricity sector in mexico and to the extent to which those market structures and regulatory structures become much more in sync with those in the united states, for example, collaboration and energy integration will just be so much easier. so that's a few of the areas on the road to paris that we will be looking at in terms of climate. in terms of energy security, and i think i probably don't have too much time left, in terms of energy security, let me say that a major focus for this year will be continuing a discussion, set of activities, developed onto the g-7 context umbrella. it's a g-7 activity in partnership with the european commission. and i'll just focus on one piece of it, very important piece. the issues that were clearly in
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front of the table with ukraine situation, looking at european and particularly european energy security. but the first point to make is when we say it's european energy security, we really mean it's the collective energy security of allies and friends. and so even if we have -- if some of us may be tempted to have a complacent view of energy security in the united states, because of our production, the fact is we have a serious interest in the broader energy security issue with our allies and friends. it has huge geopolitical implications for us. so that's a discussion that we are very, very deep into. part of it was, first of all presenting an updated view of energy security. it's not just about diversity of oil supply. or natural gas supply.
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it involves many issues, including market structures and we could go on and on, substitution possibilities, etc. but what we tackled so far were the difficult issues of things like helping ukraine face the winter, etc. but this year -- and that will continue. but this year, frankly, a harder issue. we are due to report on, to the g-7 leader summit, and that is a real intermediate to long-term plan for integrated collective energy security. and that gets into some very fundamental policy issues in different countries. but that will be a big agenda item for this year. finally, let me just say a few
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words on the energy review. probably first i have to say a few words about the energy review. some of you are familiar and some of you are not. this is an administration-wide effort that is looking to weave together all of the equities and threads of an energy policy across the government. this first year we have taken, the first of the quadrennial that's one plus one plus one plus one. and the first one we are focusing on energy infrastructure. transmission, storage and distribution of energy. that's already -- it's a pretty big bite, to be honest. but clearly somewhat restricted. the department of energy
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through the energy policy and systems analysis office, which i referred earlier to melanie, which she heads, is really the executive secretariat for this government-wide effort. it's a major analytical effort. let me just say a few of the things -- we are looking to february as the time for getting out this first installment. it will have a lot of information about the situation of energy infrastructure in our country. and also in the north american context. but it will also move on to make recommendations about what are some of the issues we have to address. i'm not going to go into this in great detail but let me tell but four areas that will be very
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much a part of the agenda. in the q.e.r. and for implementing in the rest of 2015 and beyond. one is, first of all, you might say narrowly, but our petroleum reserve really needs modernization. certainly in a variety of physical elements. and partly because of the changed production profile in the united states. the different geography of producing oil and gas has led to a number of distribution issues that we partially uncovered by doing a test sale from the petroleum reserve earlier this year. we will be laying out the program that is needed to address the petroleum reserve and the distributional capabilities of the petroleum reserve. another big area will be the smart grid. by which i just mean in general the electricity delivery system, and particularly its integration with information technology, etc. obviously many reasons to drive that. for example, large scale remote renewables integration into our
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system. but then again on other side of the t&d system, distributed generation capabilities and how we manage all of these in a reliable, resilient, robust system is clearly a major focus. we'll have recommendations there. another is related to the adaptation question that i skipped over on the climate action plan. again, resilience, recovery, safety of energy infrastructure. a lot of that will involve states working -- government states and private sector. and we will be again moving that forward. it also includes addressing the infrastructure problems that were pointed out in the administration's methane strategy. methane emissions as a climate challenge, but of course also methane emissions on the distribution side as a safety
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challenge. because we have seen unfortunately, some of the problems there with literally hundred-year-old pipe in some of our cities and major challenges. so we will be making some recommendations there. and finally, and i'll end, is in doing this energy review, what has come into much sharper focus for us at least is the question of not just the energy infrastructure per se, the pipes and wires that move electricity or fuels, but also what we might term the shared infrastructures. the infrastructures that move many, many commodities including energy. the poster child, of course, of that in the press now for quite
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a while has been railroads and the enormous increase in moving oil by rail. but again i'm sure many in this room are quite aware of the enormous congestion in moving a whole variety of commodities. right now we have issues of coal in the upper midwest. because of railroad congestion. so that's one big example. and also a case where we have data issues, inadequate data frankly, for understanding these flows and what they mean for policymakers. but i have to admit, i've learned a lot about other shared infrastructures. one -- i'll just mention one other one, inland waterways. in terrible, terrible shape. enormously important in moving lots of commodities, so we will be also recommending a variety of approaches to address these shared infrastructures which are important for energy but are important for how our whole economy works coming together.
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so that gives you hopefully a flavor. these are some of the big ticket items that we will have in the energy and climate realm for 2015. thank you. [applause] >> happy new year. thank you very much, mr. secretary. that was an outstanding presentation. even though it's 12:00 noon, i think we should, if it's all right with you, spend five or 10 minutes, maximum. >> 15. >> 10 minutes i'm told by our supreme leader so 10 minutes it is for a few questions. let me get the ball rolling by saying the words low oil prices and asking secretary moniz -- >> relative to what? >> relative to what? but asking for any thoughts you
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may have. larry summers had an op ed on monday and there's been a discussion in congress about possible steps to have the carbon switch maybe revenue neutral. is there any thinking that you'd like to share with us in the low oil price environment, which by the way was the subject of considerable discussion in the panel that preceded your own remarks? >> this is where the nuance comes in. [laughter] first of all, clearly we are trying to put together a comprehensive picture of what current oil prices mean. i do want to of course emphasize that it starts on the plus side, for sure, with consumer impact. impact on our energy intensive industries, our manufacturing
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industries. so there were some comments jane made about the size of vehicles. but i will start by saying the number of vehicles sold has certainly gone up. there's no question that obviously this provides a major, major consumer direct benefit. also we will see, we don't know yet, but one of the obviously great issues in the global economic situation is, for example, the rather shall we say sluggish european economy. if this could help get that really going, that will then come back and help in many many, many dimensions. now, clearly there are also geopolitical questions that are
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difficult and i can't stand here and say or sit here and say where we're going. but we obviously have a whole bunch of countries that depend on especially oil revenue dramatically. some friends, some others. and i just don't think we have fully -- and fully understand today what those implications are. we are thinking about them. we are looking at options. etc. finally, of course, we come to the united states' hydrocarbon industry specifically. again adam is welcome to pipe in. but adam of the e.i.a.'s, i believe, still current, as of a couple of days ago, expectation is that we will still see
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increases in our oil production in 2015. the increase has been tempered. but i believe the way this number is still looking at getting up into about a 9.3 million barrel a day whereas before it was 9.5 or 9.7 something like that. clearly if these prices persist for a long time, then the reductions in capex that we are seeing are clearly going to start coming in down the road. right now i think we're looking carefully, we're being prepared with analyses for alternative pathways forward. right now consumers are having the benefit. >> excellent. ok, a question over there and the mike will be made available. please identify yourself. >> i'm a public policy scholar here at the wilson center. can you talk about what the role
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is for biofuels to remain in the future energy mix? >> well, i think the -- first of all, we certainly continue to invest in biofuels. in fact, just in i guess it was october i was pleased to be in kansas for what is now the largest commercial functioning biorefinery in the country. our loan program helped put that into place. so if i go back to the -- what i mentioned about our entry in this book, first of all, actually i think it's important that -- sorry. let me go back a step. as we celebrate our incredible
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increase in oil production with shale, i think we also do have to keep in mind that we still import 7 1/2 million barrels of oil a day. so, we continue to have a very strong focus on reducing oil dependence. reducing oil dependence has multiple threads. one is efficient vehicles. so things like the cafe standards for light duty vehicles, things like our supertruck program for 60%, 65% efficiency increase for class eight trucks, etc., is very important. we continue to push alternative fuels. most especially next generation biofuels are critical. costs are not there yet.
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but they are coming down fast. again, i think often by the way as an aside we don't pay enough attention often. we tend to be some years behind in terms of where these cost curves are for many technologies. third, we continue to, d.o.e. and obviously companies, continue to advance electrification of vehicles. so all three of those are very important thrusts. but i think the high level of message i want to emphasize is we are committed to reducing our oil dependence even as we produce more oil, the big effect there has been in reduced imports of oil and the associated improvements in our balanced payments. >> all right. let's have a few questions at this point and we'll have --
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>> my answers have to be short. >> a comprehensive answer. there's one over here and please identify yourselves. one i see over here. and one in the back. >> my name is jim blanchard, former u.s. ambassador to canada. governor of michigan and a member of congress. i've dealt with these energy issues for about 40 years. and i never thought i'd see a day with incredible abundance, growing good technologies, growing renewables, awash in oil and gas here, none of which i realize we should take for granted. but what i can't figure out is, why our president doesn't associate himself with such a good news story. what can you do, mr. secretary because we're delighted you're here, to make sure that the public gets the big picture and doesn't just focus on one or two issues which always seem to be negative? this is a fabulous time and the options -- options that you have, that we have as a country,
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and north america has, the options are fabulous. how do we get the big picture out to the american people and to our own congress? >> good, hard-hitting question. >> i guess my question is similar to the previous one. what is your outlook for fuel-cell hydrogen energy? i know that the tokyo olympics, olympic village will be powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. if you could go into that, i would appreciate it. >> finally? >> i am richard kennedy, retired economic analyst. i read that some people at m.i.t. are looking at early ideas or explore nuclear energy. finding some of them look very promising in terms of cost and safety. i wonder if you could comment on that. >> and really finally.
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>> i just wanted to express gratitude for not only words but a common energy security. it the fifth anniversary of independence. we built a terminal called "independence." we hope the u.s. increases its lng exports for allies like lithuania. >> there is a smorgasbord. >> let me say a few brief words. in terms of the lithuanian colleagues, first of all, on lng exports, let me repeat where we are. to date, every application that has been prepared for a public
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determination, meaning it has completed a environmental impact statement, to date, every one has been improved -- approved. we have approved by .7 billion cubic feet per day. roughly 60% of the export today. that is not a small amount. there are going to be more. if you look at the economists' predictions, prior to recent events, generally speaking, i would say from the low side of five to the high side of the team -- 15 is the kind of range the economists think the market will support. the market getting lng to lithuania or anywhere else is
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building facilities. the first facility is due to come out at the end of this year or early 2016. two others have put spades in the ground. but it will be years on till a substantial infrastructure is ready to do that. on nuclear energy, i think you are referring to the reactor as an example of back to the future possibility. there is no question that there are a number of innovative approaches, many of which have work done in the 80's. which have some very interesting characteristics. and we are supporting research in those areas. but to be practical, we all know
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that the just station time -- ge station time of nuclear technology is very long. from pilot stages through demonstration faces. a lot of money involved. and there is the regulatory challenge. right now, in terms of a new technology our main focus right now in terms of deployment is on small modular reactors. much smaller reactors. built around light water technology. precisely because it is not as big a step as going to some of the other technologies. our view is we are trying to work to get some of those deployed in the early 20 20's. while we continue to support a
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research on these alternative approaches. but certainly on paper, it can have advantages relative to light water reactors. fuel cells and hydrogen, again lots of progress. the reduction in costs, same theme in fuel cells. pretty dramatic. i think is fair to say we saw the first commercially offered for sale fuel-cell vehicle, the toyota vehicle announced in december. since it is public, we can say i think the list price was 57.5 thousand dollars. president bush, in 2002, announced the freedom car.
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a vice president of one of the major oil companies says, you want a fuel-cell vehicle? i will sell you one. it will cost $1 million. $57,000 is good progress. i think the fuel-cell costs have been encouraging. that infrastructure -- but infrastructure is an enormous challenge to get there. i think events like this are a wonderful opportunity to get out the big picture and inform the public. i have to say, i think the president is very much in tune with the kind of picture i laid out. the climate action plan was a major pusher of this. and he has done and continues to
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do lots and lots of public events on this agenda. in fact, today. today, he is at an auto manufacturing plant. a beneficiary of our loan programs. i have to get that plug in. quite a few events around auto manufacturing, including for energy space etc.. i wish we had a solution as to how to get a much bigger, broader audience listening to this story. i would say, and i will stop, there was an interesting article in "the new yorker." it said, you know, 2014 was a good year for government. everybody says everything is dysfunctional. a number of things were pointed
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out. including our loan program, by the way. but also, where we have come in terms of the deficit frankly the reality of what has happened with the health care rollout, a whole bunch of issues. it was an interesting statement. i'm just repeating what it said. said there seems to be a phenomenon. the example used was the individuals who were incorrectly accused in the press with regard to the olympic bombing in the united states. and the anthrax scare. once those first stories are out , it is hard to get a good story over. i do not know. there may be a bit of that. all i can say is we are working it. and other ideas, other venues
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would be most welcome. because you are right. this is a great news story for our countries. and ultimately for the global economy. >> thank you, mr. secretary. the cameras in the back remind us the story is not only here in this auditorium at the wilson enter, but it is a national story. we are glad to be part of making that story happened. thank you for an outstanding presentation. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy.
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visit ncicap.org] >> the 114th congress is beginning with another proposed republican change to the health care law. health care policy reporter melanie zzanoma has more details. >> this bill is sponsored by pat young of indiana. it would change the definition of a full-time work week under the 2012 health care law. the current definition is 30 hours. employers have to provide health insurance for employees who work 30 hours or more. the bill would change the definition to 40 hours. republicans have really glommed onto this as a priority issue. >> why is that 10 hours such a
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big difference? >> big difference is that republicans say this incentivizes lawyers to cut hours -- employers to cut hours. so they are saying the 30 hours rush holt actually hurts employees more than eight would if it were the war the our threshold. >> the white house unhappy about the proposed changes, obviously, issuing a veto threat against this legislation with statement of administration policy. what is at the white house does not like about this measure? >> there are two main things. one thing, they say it would add to the deficit and the 40 hour worker. democrats have reported this a little bit in the house and on the senate side.
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but they have labeled it as strengthening the law as opposed to weakening it, which is what white house cents has been. >> this has come up before. you mentioned the democrats going back to last april, when the hill past the house. what can we expect in terms of house democratic support? >> house democratic support there seems to be some support for. there are six cosponsors. last year, i think there were 20. we expected to pass with democratic support in the house and senate. >> you covered the news conference with senators collins and donnelly, saying they have reintroduced legislation to redefine the work. but it likely faces a veto. tell us about the dynamics of the senate with a republican majority. >> they introduced their version
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of the 40 hour work week, similar to house legislation. same kind of thing. i think there will be some democratic support, but there could be some problems with republican senators as well especially those running for reelection. so you could see some trouble in the senate from both sides of the aisle. >> you tweeted earlier about underpinning of house rules for the 114th talk about. changes they would like to see with the independent advisory board. what other changes my paper post? >> next up might be eliminating the medical device tax. there is an excise tax on medical devices. but other things we could see our, in addition nation -- to
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elimination of the reporter program, designed to eliminate financial losses of insurers, we could see attempts to repeal the individual mandate or the employer mandate altogether. in an effort to appease businesses against the mandate. >> next, james fallows talks about the u.s. armed forces on washington journal. host: james fallows of the atlantic. he has the cover story of the january-february issue. the tragedy of the american military. thank you for joining us. what is the tragedy? guest: we have a country that has been more or less perpetually at war as a nation but the public has not been involved. you take all the people have served in iraq and afghanistan in last dozen years, it is two thirds of 1% of the american
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public. the distance between the realities of the public and the realities of the military has meant we use our military force more recklessly than we would otherwise. it is that gap i mainly talking about. host: what causes the gap? guest: in a democracy, people are exposed to certain institutions day by day. we know the goods and bads. right now, not much of the public is exposed to the military. what happens when any institution is on autopilot is happening to the military in a way that was not true in previous generations. in most of our other previous wars, presidents and commanders have removed generals for military failure, not questions of personal misbehavior. in the last dozen years, that is not happen to senior officers.
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host: when people ask about the military, it is usually positive responses. guest: i opened the piece in a scene where -- in airport where president obama is saying this is the finest fighting force in history of the world. we respect your sacrifices. i think the american public is sincere in the 30 seconds of half-time honor for the troops at football games. as a matter of constant reality and how we talk about things politically, the familiarity with what is working and what is not is not present. host: in years past, where did this closeness with the military come from and how to change? guest: there was an unusual situation after world war ii were unlike any other time in history, except the civil war, most americans were involved with the military.
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at the end of world war ii, 10% of the public was in uniform. for a generation after that, most people had some experience with the goods and bads of military life. whether it was hogan's heroes or whatever, you could treat the military the way you did other institutions. you can make fun of it, you knew it strengths and weaknesses. now, it is seen as an almost holy thing. you have to see many in uniform as heroes. as opposed to the realistic assessment of where we can do better. host: is that distance -- guest: there was -- you no longer had the enforced connection between military policy and the public.
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the military has become small as a portion of public life. there are twice as many people living on farms as there are in the active-duty and reserve forces put together. it has become more concentrated regionally and family concentrated. you have some americans were all about the military and a great majority or not at all. host: if you want to ask him questions about some of the things he has said, here are the lines. (202) 748-8000 are line for democrats. (202) 748-8001 our line for republicans. guest: what has been the most amazing thing to me about this
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article -- i worked for the atlantic for a long time. this has generated the most reader involvement of anything i have ever written. it has been overwhelmingly from people in the military or past military and overwhelmingly positive. saying we have to find some way for people to do more than say thank you for your service. it has been impressive to me for a magazine that is not a military specialist magazine, it is been such a positive military response. host: you said, if i were writing such a history now, i would call it a chicken hawk nation. the story of a country willing to do anything for its military except take it seriously. host: i use the word chicken hawk for provocative effect.
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people who were all for the war but said, you go, not me. if you were a historian, you might use that term now. we are always in combat. most of us are not. the military is about 1% of the american public. the entire combat veteran core of iraq and afghanistan is less than 1% of the public. some people are at war, but the country is not. that is what i am referring to as the chicken hawk phenomenon. host: lines on the screen if you want to choose one that represents you. sandra from massachusetts, independent line.
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caller: my son is currently in the military. he has been in 29 years. he flew with i believe a colonel and a general two weeks ago to washington, d.c. to receive the highest honor for the medical department. there were seven awards given out for different hospitals and he is a master sergeant. he has done nothing but devote his time to trying to make the military better. he has improved. he saved over $100,000 or something like that before for the military. he takes out the boys when they come home because he does not go over himself before they go and they played basketball and everything else.
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he eats it up. he loves what he is doing. his family is all for it too. host: what would you like our guest to address? caller: i have been a military person all my life, with everybody. i've been sad, happy, mixed up with it all. host: thank you, sandra. guest: on the one hand, anybody who has experience with america's people in uniform -- i did a book about 35 years ago, has to be impressed with the devotion and commitment of many people who recognize that apart from sports, the part of american life where you most have the team bonding is in the
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military. people in combat would always say they would lay down their lives for the people on either side of them. the devotion of people is extraordinary, as it is in other institutions. the problem from my point of view is all the complexity of that institution is sheltered from our political discussion. in the 2012 presidential debates, there was virtually no discussion between president obama and governor romney about future course in the military except that governor romney wanted to spend more. whereas all the things that really matter did not come up. host: sandra from louisiana, democrats line. caller: i grew up in california and in the late 50's, my brother went into the marine corps out of high school. he had not many skills.
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back then, they trained him, taught him, gave him higher education and made him feel a real part of america. i do not see that happening so much anymore. i think now, the military has privatized so many things that the young boys go into the military and do not learn basic skills. i think we need to go back to some of the older ways and quit privatizing this. guest: the privatization is a major trend of the past generation. it is one way the administrations have tried to keep the military budget down and having the headcount being lowered by privatizing services. you have the situation of
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contractors making a lot more money serving people who are actually in uniform. that has distorted effects. about the military improving its members, my experience is that it will has an important role that way. people who have not been to college, maybe have not done well in high school, are able to get on another path in life to the discipline and education the military gives them. that part of it is still seen as an important aspect. i agree on the distortions of privatization. caller: james fallows, i recall that in the 70's, you wrote and published something in which you questioned what you would tell
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your children because you had not participated in the vietnam war. i wonder if you recall that and what you told your children. guest: everything i've written about the military in the past 45 years, starting when i was 20, i pointed out i was in college during the vietnam war. i thought it was a huge mistake. i found legal ways to stay out of the draft. the difference between me and a chicken hawk is that i was a chicken dove. i thought no one should go to that war. i've been public about that in the past 45 years. my children, i would say, here is an article i wrote about it. the article you're mentioning came out in 1975. host: do you have criticism?
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guest: my view on one's background is that if there is anything -- if people know where you're coming from, they know where you're coming from. the reason i did my book "national defense" people who opposed the vietnam war were not as informed as a needed to be. i was trying to say, here are ways the evolution of american defense should go. host: francisco, from texas. independent line. caller: thank you for taking my call. i take so much pride for all of the people that go to the military. not everybody is meant to perform such an important role in our country. sadly, what pains me the most is that our country is not doing enough for those they retire.
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we put enough money to train our people. we sent our troops to whatever they need to be deployed. then again, the government is not providing the necessary training or support to aid those who went into combat. we have to continue giving by giving institutions, donate for our military. no. why would we have to donate money out of our pockets for our troops? the government spent so much money on so many other things, but when it comes down to our troops, the president is like, we are so proud of them -- host: thank you. guest: the stated pentagon budget is in the order of $600 billion. if you take in all the costs, is
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more like a trillion dllars for national security costs. in much of american life, we have a dividing prospect of those who have are getting more and those were having trouble having more trouble. that is true when it comes to these pensions. the pensions for senior officers have risen to a generous level compared with past times. whereas a number of ordinary working soldiers are having difficulties. that problem affects much of america and it shows appear as well. host: bob, are independent line. go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call.
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i think that what i see -- the military is being used, not so much for national defense, but for corporate intervention and interests. what do you think about that? host: would you give an example? caller: yes, oil. guest: my interpretation comes to a similar conclusion from different premises. i think the foreign-policy decisions of the past 12 years have been bad for the united states. i wrote before the invasion of iraq is would be a mistake. i believe it was the largest unforced error in u.s. history. in my interpretation, i placed the origins more on things than simply big business or oil.
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i think in the day by day contracting realities in the pentagon -- the way weapon systems have become essentially stimulus programs. they have subcontracts in a most every district in almost every state and people who might otherwise oppose a certain airplane or ship are happy to support its it is going to their district. when it comes to the war versus peace decisions, i think that there have been mistakes and i attribute it more to mistakes than the oil lobby. host: the atlantic talks about the weapon systems that are guest references. for those who may not follow what is the issue? guest: the f 35 is something that was getting just they should 15 years ago. it was posted be the plane that solved all the problems of pentagon contracting. it could land on carriers for the navy, it go straight up-and-down for the marine
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corps. not surprisingly, trying to do all those things has made it a problem for all of them. yet, it is being built in so many places around the country and world that people are resigned to it. even bernie sanders, a senator from vermont, he says he thinks the planes are a bad idea, but if they're going to exist, let's have them in burlington, vermont. host: you compare that to another aircraft. the a-10. guest: the a-10 is the plane that is the biggest help in modern times. it is essentially a flying cannon or tank. it is relatively slow so it can loiter over a battlefield. it has one powerful cannon. i've heard from hundreds of
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people with britain in saying they were in combat and there would have been combat except the a-10 was able to provide air support. the a-10 is being phased out, a relatively cheap and reliable weapon, to make room for this troubled that more sophisticated weapon. host: where does the white house stand on the f 35? guest: the pentagon is in favor of this shift. i've looked through any speech to find the word f 35, and i have not seen it. this is seen as arcane in politics when it is seen as important. costs are on the order of 100 times more than soylndra. solyndra has gotten a hundred times more publicity.
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host: these aircraft are still being made? guest: the budgeting cycle for them is decades long. for better or worse they have almost nothing to do with the wars we are actually fighting. host: from georgia, here is more. thank you for calling. caller: good morning. i'm retired army. i did two tours in vietnam. this war, we of been in for 12 years. if we have war, we should bring back the draft. guest: i believe these things are both true. one is, the shift to the modern predicament begin with the end of the draft in the beginning of the volunteer army.
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that is when no one had to care about the military if they did not want to. it became a more concentrated part of american life. on the other hand, bringing back the draft now, i think, is a practical impossibility. politically, i'm aware of only one member of the house or senate who is in favor of this charlie wrangle of new york. as a matter of numbers, the military is only about 200,000 people joined the military each year. either you're going to have a much larger military or have some arbitrary way of choosing. conceptually, i agree it is bad for the country that most of us have no involvement with the military. i do not see a realistic possibility of having a draft unless there is a change in world situations we cannot imagine. host: you make the argument that americans should become more of a part of military actions in the future.
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guest: the idea of service in general is important. simply talking about that in setting examples of it is important. seth moulton was just wanted to congress. when he graduated from harvard he decided to join the marines because he thought was important to serve and he ended up have to do four tors in iraq you know he opposed the war. he and a number of others are saying how can we find examples of things other than actual compulsion to make people want to serve? i have some dim hope in this next presidential campaign that within the republican party there may be debate about military. within the democratic party, maybe there will be debate there too. host: joni ernst of iowa -- guest: there are 20 plus
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veterans of the iraq conflict in congress right now. host: do you think it will influence future decisions? guest: i think it is people having more awareness of the realities of military engagements as we do about the medical system, will be better in shaping our decisions of whether you can be involved. from the list you read, seth mulder and tom cotton probably do not agree on anything, but they have first-hand experience and that will inform the votes they cast. host: randall, from louisiana. caller: the guest makes an excellent point. there are a couple of things. i will stick to my original reference.
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part of our disconnect would be the media coverage. by that, i'm talking about cable news and investigative news. there are a lot of things they could be doing to change and engage the public but they are not. guest: that is true. i did a book about 15 years ago called "breaking the news" about how the spectacle nature of cable news was distracting our attention from the things that actually mattered. this is a long-standing problem in the media. c-span is a force against it. i think it is also why i argue in this article that it is important to engage people interest directly in how things work. you can tell them how they should be involved, but they are forced to pay attention by paying taxes or some other inconvenience that makes them say there is condition at that
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leads to result y that is the way politics works. i understand the problem you are raising and i do not have a quick answer other than to bear it in mind and try to bear down day by day. caller: good morning. i wanted to ask -- first question, historically, where the president lyndon johnson had mentioned the military industrial complex. i am wondering what the author's thoughts were on how that would be played against the way government contracting is currently. also, when he is talking about things we have done to bring the public more into the war standing, i remember hearing there was rationing and things
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of that nature to make it where people were feeling the effects of the war. i was wondering if you comment on those items. guest: those are great points. i hope c-span will put up a link to the speech are referring to which was by dwight eisenhower. that was an incredible speech. eisenhower, a five-star general, commander of the entire allied effort in world war ii. we would assume this was a communist speech if we read it now. he's talking about the effect of the military-industrial complex reaching into every part of the nation and how that could be a danger. in an earlier draft, he refers to the how these different parts were working together. i argue in my article that the things he was worried about have come to fruition.
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on the rationing front, that is not going to happen in the same way now because it is a different sort of war effort. i think if there were symbolic efforts that caused people more notice than just a moment of silence for the heroes at the halftime of football games, that would be worth pursuing. even a symbolic gasoline tax. something that made people pay attention would matter more than having ribbons and moments of silence. host: ted, from oregon. good morning. caller: as a former noncommissioned officer in the air force, i was active duty from 1978 to 1985. at the height of the cold war. it seemed to me at that time that when you are 20 years old you do not have the ability or financial heart to make it to a four your college.
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the air force was a good place to be. they not only made me what i am today, which is a journeyman plumber. i have also got a four your degree in mechanical sciences to the community college of the air force, which they would pay extra money per month as long as guys like me kept passing courses. that said, in today's world, the 20-year-old -- only 30% are able to join the military if they wanted to. guest: your comments are apt. the military has historically and even now been an important avenue of opportunity for people who might not have the opportunity to go to higher education. they have had that role in terms
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of class mobility and racial mobility. the other point you make is the number of people are not able to meet the military's standards. the military is giving us a barometer of a larger social issue. most people agree the military is doing an impressive job of providing opportunities. if people are not equipped to be acceptable for them, that is a larger social issue. host: would you say that officers will have different perceptions of it than infantryman? dwight eisenhower's speech -- our colleagues have made that available on our website. you can find it when you go to c-span.org.
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cincinnati, ohio. mark, good morning. caller: i can think of no better example of america's disconnect with the military than asking why we are buying planes, even though we are winding down the wars. i've been a huge fan going back to your years stationed in japan. i'm too young to have served in the military in vietnam. i have two kids in the military now. a lot of good points were made but i would like to suggest that, to some extent, the top brass is responsible for the situation we find ourselves in. when they talk about a guy getting shot at the afghan military school and say that sacrifice is what defines our military, i think we've come a long way from george patton who
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clearly understood that our job is not to die for our country that to make the other guy. for his country. i have been at west point. all the classes have these sugary logos for their class rings where they talk about surrounding and hugging the entire world. a decline in power has to accept it cannot do everything. at some point, we have to return to smiting our enemies. no one is going to like that. our military is tasked with living out the fantasy that the entire world is full of friends we have not met yet. that has got to end. guest: many points to engage there. one is, accepting limits on what we can do. i am bullish on american power over all. i think we are well-positioned. the main threat to that is taking on too many unwinnable obligations.
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i think the last 12 years to me is an era of unwinnable wars should not have an barked on. in previous eras, america was freer in saying these generals are good, these generals are not so good at what they actually do. in the last dozen years, we have not had senior commanders removed from military competence reasons. host: you highlight stanley mcchrystal and david trias. guest: these are two very accomplished generals and they lost their jobs for personal discipline type issues. sexual issue, a press leak. i contrasted that with a world war ii or korean war where civilian leaders say, this general is a fine man on personal reasons, but we cannot
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think he is doing the right job. we've not seen that kind of judgment recently. host: we see the same levels apply to -- guest: it has been encouraging to get somebody letters from people who consider themselves young reformers within the military saying we have to go to the same exercise that occurred after vietnam. host: you are also worried about gary hart being asked to look at long-term military efforts. guest: the background is that in the late 1970's, early 1980's, gary hart was an expert in defense reform. in 2011, president obama asked senator hart if he would put together a commission to say if obama wanted to change the pentagon, what would he do? hark prepared this memo and sent it to the president and never heard back.
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i think the reason is that presidents are swamped with emergencies or did they do the most important ones first in this did not seem that important. host: frank, in new york. go ahead. let's go to dan in texas. go ahead. caller: my name is mac. sorry. i served in the air force in 1970. i get tickled about the f 35. i flew an all-purpose aircraft called the f1 11. you're probably old enough to remember. guest: the granddaddy of the f 35. caller: the f1 11 was supposed to have been -- they found out when they made it, it was too
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heavy. i had an uncle that was an engineer. family problem, i got called back to active duty in 1990 and served until 2011. i've seen and heard it all. the part i know is i was it young radical in 1970. i found out one afternoon, those guys were trying to kill me. you said in unwinnable war. if we fought world war ii the same way we fought all these wars today, everybody is our buddy, buildings do not kill people, people kill people. guest: the difference between world war ii and the limited wars we have waged since then is great. one of the things gary hart's commission proposed is that we
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have a commission to say, let's look at the wars. can we win these kinds of wars? what should be the decision-making process? the caller mentions the f1 11, that is the f 35 of its era. host: from tennessee, richard is next. caller: i was in the marine corps. i am retired now. over the years, men that i've talked to that served have all agreed that the problem is almost always political leadership. they are so afraid of offending people they will not send in enough power to get a job done. they do not mind risking the lives of men in the military but
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they mind very much offending someone in the far east or europe or whatever. that is my aggravation. guest: i think that is an astute point that i would respond to this way. we do have civilian control of the military. our elected leaders are tasked with making a different kind of decision that our military leaders. military leaders are applying force for result and they are supposed to use as much force as the situation calls for. political leaders have a wider range of things they are balancing. if they do this in this country, what will it mean in that country? in the best circumstances, political leaders will recognize there are times in which they do not want to make military commitments because the effects would be bad. there are other times when it can have effects you are talking about where military people feel hamstrung. that is an eternal reality of
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our political system, in the situation of world power. the goal is to harmonize it as much as possible. caller: i'm a combat wounded infantryman. i am in therapy for physical and mental. if i have to go to a hospital, i have to go three and a half hours to a military hospital in iron mountain, michigan. we could do everything for it illegal immigrants and all, but you do not do anything for us.
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guest: i am very sorry for the ongoing as you have for your service in the country owes you and everybody else who is in your situation lifetime care and respect for the sacrifices you have made. the point i would make is part of the decision to go to war is recognizing there are going to be long-term obligations that have to be filled with honor for people of served. i think politicians such report funding ways to make sure the v.a. and others have to be fully supported. host: doris is on the line from georgia. caller: i have three points to make. i feel very sorry for the previous speaker. i have long stated that the ba should be closed and these people should be given insurance and take care of locally.
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i was married to a military man. during the vietnam war, i'd used to be -- some of the men had dirt on their faces from the battlefield. if anyone ever met those planes and saw the men as they were coming in, they would be against war. unless our country was attacked. after the vietnam war, mcnamara said we made a mistake. host: what point would you like our guest to address? caller: i went to two funerals. one man shot himself. he had ptsd and he had to wait one year for an appointment. another one, lost his house waiting for disability from the
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v.a. fannie mac refused to take it and he lost his house. guest: i think the stories doris tells involved accountability. when we embarked on military commitments, there are consequences. the people who have lifelong consequences for the military commitments we make. i'm trying to say, those are the consequences, let's find ways of building them into our process for we go to war so that if we do take the steps, we are aware of the obligations we have in the long run. host: how would you follow up this piece? guest: i have gotten thousands of replies from people. mainly ways to bring these questions more into the mainstream of political discussion is of interest to me now. host: james fallows has his
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cover story on the january-february issue of "the atlantic." a web version not only gives you the story we have talked about but other content as well. thank you for your time. guest: thank you. >> on our next washington journal, jim himes discussed the agenda for the 114th congress. office director douglas holtz eakin discusses the recent reports on costs in 2014. plus, your e-mails, phone calls and tweets. washington journal is light each morning at 7 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> islamic extremists attacked the parent -- paris offices of charlie hebdo wednesday.
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we would hear from francois hollande. then u.n. the general ban ki-moon. then, the congress works on keystone pipeline legislation. here are some of our featured programs for this weekend on the c-span networks. on c-span2 saturday night at 10:00, cass sunstein on the pitfalls of group decision-making. and we talk with recently published professors at johns hopkins on the influence of hip-hop on politics and the government efforts to cure malaria during world war ii. on american history tv saturday at 8:00 eastern, lectures in history. professor brian dirk uses abraham lincoln's like to
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understand what americans views on slavery both before and after the civil war. then a discussion on birth control. the impact on the birth-control movement. find our complete schedule at c-span.org. and let us know what you think about the programs you are watching. e-mail us comments at www.c-span.org. join the c-span conversation. like us on facebook. follow us on twitter. >> friends colleagues, countrymen, especially the people of ohio, thank you for sending me here. let's welcome all of the new members and their families to what we all know to be a truly historic day. [applause] >> today is an important day for
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our country. many senators took the oath this afternoon, 13 four the first time. the new republican majority accepted it's the responsibility. we recognize the enormity of the task before us. we know in a lot of hard work awaits. we know many important opportunities await as well. >> follow the gop-led congress. the best access is on c-span television, c-span radio and www.c-span.org. new congress, best access. on c-span. >> french president francois hollande announced thursday would be a day of mourning in the wake of the attack on charlie heb >> the idea of freedom, i would
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like to express our gratitude to the families and the victims and those who have been injured and their loved ones and all those who are suffering today. in from this cowardly assassination, this cowardly attack. today, to the victims, they are our heroes. i declare tomorrow a day of national mourning. at noon tomorrow, there will be a moment of silence and i invite the population of france flags will be lowered for three days. today it is the republic of france which has been attacked. the republic expresses freedom of speech, culture, creation.

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